Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Andrew Johnson

Why do bullies seek to silence such beauty?

This is not the last you will see of this beautiful boy.

HT to Mike Todd

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The better we will want to live them

Oh Henri, you're making my day!

One of the arguments we often use for not writing is this: "I have nothing original to say. Whatever I might say, someone else has already said it, and better than I will ever be able to." This, however, is not a good argument for not writing. Each human person is unique and original, and nobody has lived what we have lived. Furthermore, what we have lived, we have lived not just for ourselves but for others as well. Writing can be a very creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and to others.

We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them.

Henri Nouwen

We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. Love that line.

I received an email yesterday from my friend McNair. McNair is one of THE most amazing people I have ever had the joy of meeting. He is wicked flea market shopper, an inspiration and a former Disney Imagineer who tells the greatest stories and encourages everyone to do the same.

A few years ago I was able to tell my story in such a unique way. McNair was able to participate by being the first person I knew to see that story being told.

I was asked to participate in a documentary called 1000 Journals - the director, Andrea Kreuzhage contacted me to ask me to tell my story about my interaction with the 1000 Journals project. It was not a positive experience for me, I brushed her aside, but she was dogged in her determination to include all of the types of stories, not just the ones that were sunshine and roses.

Andrea & I developed a friendship and she showed herself to be trustworthy and true and safe enough to share my story with. About 3 years ago she came to Beaver County to spend the day with me, her HD video equipment and Ralph Kaechele, her ever talented cinematographer. We spent the day talking, walking, eating and filming and I was able to share with her some of my story.

McNair was able to see the film at the San Fransico Film Festival last weekend and share with me his impressions. I am so honored.

First, and foremost, I honor you for the power, clarity, and courage with which you shared your Journal story in Andrea's remarkable film. You are a major part of this exquisite work. No one has more (or as much) time on camera. Plus it connects with other stories (as so much of the film weaves a tale of connections and relationships AROUND THE WORLD.)

I did not know any of what you shared in the film that had happened as a result of your being a part of the 1000 Journals project. I was VERY moved as I watched and listened to your story unfold and break the hearts of most if not all in the full theatre yesterday.

How great to have Andrea and "SOMEGUY" (Brian Singer) there for Q&A. many were curious about you and how you're doing. IT was a great lesson (and will be for ALL who will see) as to the power of art–even when dashed off casually in a small sketchbook that floats through our lives for a while.

So great to finally meet Andrea after emailing and Facebooking. We exchange bus. cards and I hope to get together with her when she is back in SF this week for the rest of her screenings. Don't know if she'll have time to "cut her away from the herd" for a sip or a bite, we'll see.

She is a talented film maker/story teller and has crafted a piece that not only tells the story of the project in a way that anyone, having never even heard of 1000 Journals, would get it–right away. But far more than that is a film about connections across continents and cultures. It is life-filled as people write (in so many languages) draw, paint, sketch, tape, glue, construct, fold, share, pass-on, mail, or just leave it on a bench, or mountain trail – to be discovered and entered into.

The mind reals thinking about how many thousands of people have touched, read, peeked, and contributed to the (first) 1000 Journals.

My friend Susan ("SARK") Kennedy gave a copy of the book about the books. It was actually the book that Brian Singer (SOMEGUY) sent her to thank her for "Keeping creativity alive." SO, even though he'd already signed it, I asked him to sign it again (see photo). He also had a few of the actual journals there for folks to contribute to. I noticed one book, lying on the table in front of a woman and I asked, "Aren't you going to join in?"

"I'm just a mom." She said pointing to two high school age girls hunched over two books opposite us.

"These books are filled with just moms." I said and pushed a small pile of arts supplies toward her.

She smiled and jumped in...

I am so honored to be a part of this project and I am so looking forward to seeing it. If you do see it please let me know - all of our stories deserve to be told. I can't wait to hear yours!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Weathervanes for Kel

My Ozi blogger friend Kel has a beautiful post on interior weathervanes and compasses - both things we here in the Turner house love. This eastern seaboard is dotted with unique, wonderful weathervanes and we spend much our our travels with camera in hand trying to capture them - these are some of my favorites. Enjoy!




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Emergent Politics

I have been thinking a lot about the political race in the states since Obama sucked me in. I had divorced myself of tv news coverage and the bane of the talking heads for quite a few years until I began to hear the clarion call of Barack Obama's message. I must say that not caring what happened was much easier. I now care far too much - and will be heartbroken if America chooses what I consider to be fear, hate and unrest instead of hope, unity and peace.

I believe what is truly at stake here is so similar to what is happening within the modern church and the emerging church. Barack Obama is a politician for a post-modern generation. This is why many of the old guard cannot hear his message while those of us who do cannot hear anything else. Ears trained for modern facts and imperialism aren't able to grasp the nuanced messages of postmodern thought. The old guard cannot seem to get their head around the idea that many in the rest of the world already know.

This article by Frank Schaeffer articulates so well the choice our country must make - old or new - past or future - I for one want a hopeful future:

The Fight for Obama Requires Euphemisms and More Truth

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Writing to Save the Day

Daily quote from Henri Nouwen today is pure gold:

Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.

Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be "redeemed" by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.

I for one am so grateful Henri wrote - he has saved my day many times. Speaking of which, for anyone who cares I haven't broke the chain since November 21 - hard to believe 5 months can pass like that, but it truly has redeemed my days.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Leaning into the fear

I have always wanted to learn how to sail. The excitement of the wind in your hair, the freedom on the water and the romance of the lifestyle the boating crowds I grew up with in my home town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin spoke of a natural, carefree control.

Watching an accomplished sailor is like watching a talented dancer. Effortless, graceful, knowing the next moves far before they are necessary. I remember whipping across the lake as a child feeling like there was nothing that could hold me back. So natural, so fluid. I know now that sailing is a lot of hard work, reading the wind, instructing your crew, avoiding the other watercraft and years of practice. And it starts with many summers in the Sunflower turtled and paddle kicking it back to the dock because you just can't find the wind. I know it's not all grace and beauty - but when it does work it takes my breath away. I can hear the pinging of the sails on the mast even now if I close my eyes and go back there. As real as the birds outside my window as I type. It is my happy place. The place in my mind I go to when I need calm.

I took this picture last September when Keith and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary on Mt. Desert Island and Bar Harbor. I think it's on Somes Sound and it transported me back to my teen years instantly - watching this sailboat track across the water. It was lightning fast and really playing with the strong wind. This is adventure sailing - not the timid kind I grew up with - our lake was so populated with water craft you could never gain the speed this sailor was flying with. There were times when the sail was nearly sideways. Either he really knew what he was doing or he was just plain lucky he didn't flip. It was a beautiful boat on a gorgeous day. We had to pull over the car just to watch.

I have been frozen lately. Frozen by fear. I shared at our small group on Friday that it's both fear of failing and fear of success that is icing my soul. What if the biggest, best idea I have doesn't have the wheels it needs to even write my thesis, let alone find a publisher. But again, what if it does and changes everything. Both fears loom so large in my mind's eye. I realized that they had crippled me into giving up.

I spoke with my friend Ed the other day about what I had voiced at group and he said these words to me "What if you leaned into the fear?"

The words stopped me short.

Changing perspectives lately has changed everything for me. What if the fear I was feeling wasn't my enemy, but my friend? What if it would provide the energy I need to actually finish what I have started? What if I used that energy the fear creates in me to power me toward doing the work that is in front of me instead of avoiding it. Could it really change everything?

What would leaning into the fear look like? Instantly I saw this sailboat slicing across the waves. The wind filling every inch of it's sails and taking that boat everywhere it needed to go. So today, I am leaning. Resting in the resistance that the fear in me creates. Maybe it is my friend. Maybe I've just been looking at it from the wrong perspective.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Bob reminds me what is so amazing about grace this morning and ends with this incredible quote:

"Grace that was in the beginning will be at the end as well".
Mother Theresa

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blessed are the peacemakers

"To be at peace is to overcome the world"

My friend RWK rises wise this morning:

Blesses are the peacemakers

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Attraction, not promtion

When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or not. Freedom attracts wherever it appears. A free man or a free woman creates a space where others feel safe and want to dwell. Our world is so full of conditions, demands, requirements, and obligations that we often wonder what is expected of us. But when we meet a truly free person, there are no expectations, only an invitation to reach into ourselves and discover there our own freedom.

Where true inner freedom is, there is God. And where God is, there we want to be.

Henri Nouwen

FYI - King, Grisham & Gerritsen Read in Bangor

FYI for local readers - just heard from Stephen King that he, John Grisham and Tess Gerritsen will be supporting Tom Allen for Senator in Maine at an event in Bangor on June 7th:

General Admission is $25.00. Way cool way to support a local politician looking to stop the war and bring some accountability to congress. Carpool anyone?

Friday, April 18, 2008

You Are Not Lost

I have been feeling a bit lost lately, so this was very poignant to me today:

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

Source: "Lost", David Wagoner in Good Poems, selected by Garrison Keillor


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Living in the Liminal

The older I get the more I appreciate "liminal" spaces. Impossible to describe with crisp labels, these are the times marked by both excitement and terror, grief and joy, despair and celebration. They are the times of horrifying loss and isolation as well as tender surprise and intimacy. A tornado sweeps through, drawing a small town close together; a dearly loved one succumbs to addiction and we begin our own journey toward healing; a friend who has loved more freely and fully than any human one has loved before is publicly crucified and now is reported to be alive. It's all so surreal; it's all so normal--in liminal space....

Kayla McClurg


Monday, April 07, 2008

That guy burns me up!

That guy burns me up!

My Favorite Artist

My blogger friend Blair has just put the finishing touches on her own website to promote her incredible art. Blair has such a wonderful gift and I am so excited for her first show. Any friends in the DC/Baltimore area please make sure to check it out for me! So wish I could be there!

Blair Anderson Artist

Congratulations Blair!

East Coast Star Gazers FYI

Tuesday, April 8, 9:45 pm (ET), Region-Wide - Looking West - Crescent Moon Pairs with the Pleiades - Tonight, weather permitting, the crescent moon is unusually high at dusk and right next to the Pleiades, the sky’s finest naked-eye star cluster. Normally the Moon overpowers nearby stars, but not when it’s this thin. Lucky viewers in eastern Canada and the northeastern US even get to see the Moon occult (cover) some of the northern Pleiades, starting around 9:45 p.m. EDT. The Moon’s leading limb will be well lit by earthshine but still dim enough that it will be easy to watch the stars wink out.

Courtesy Sky and Telescope. For more information contact Sky and Telescope

Thanks Jude!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Don't get your hopes up!

storypeople tells my story today:

stable as long as nothing else in the whole world shifts (so don't get your hopes up)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Marko @ YS just posted this on his blog - Eddie & Tommy, The Skit Guys made this hysterical mock up of a eHarmony commercial - enjoy!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Something my daughter is teaching me

The Beauty of Shyness

There is something beautiful about shyness, even though in our culture shyness is not considered a virtue. On the contrary, we are encouraged to be direct, look people straight in the eyes, tell them what is on our minds, and share our stories without a blush.

But this unflinching soul-baring, confessional attitude quickly becomes boring. It is like trees without shadows. Shy people have long shadows, where they keep much of their beauty hidden from intruders' eyes. Shy people remind us of the mystery of life that cannot be simply explained or expressed. They invite us to reverent and respectful friendships and to a wordless being together in love.

Henri Nouwen

Too beautiful to be a commercial!

via jim hancock